Technivac has wherever possible maintained the philosophy to eliminate the need for confined space entry for catalyst changeout purposes, especially under inert conditions.
Unnecessary Confined Space Entry
Confined space entry into potentially hazardous areas under nitrogen blanket conditions are well known. However even under normal gas free oxygen levels there is only one excusable reason for confined space entry: that is when beds are heavily fused.
When beds are heavily fused Technivac have the equipment and expertise to allow us to enter the hazardous area under inert conditions in a safe and controlled manner. In the 1980’s Technivac were the first catalyst handling company in the UK to utilise air powered man riding winches for access and egress as an alternative to rope ladders.
Technivac has been experimenting and refining ways to unload externally in the most efficient manner, reducing manual handling as a rule. Over the past 30 years we have designed and developed ideas where we can simply lower the extraction hose into the vessel and it feeds itself without blocking.
Based on these principles Technivac developed a device that allowed us to remove catalyst from side manways, this eliminated the need to work at the top of a vessel and utilise gravity and vacuum as means of removal. This device is known as Technivac’s unique ‘Portflo’ hopper.
Both the self-feeder and the ‘Portflo’ have become so successful that we now frequently completely unload beds without any entry whatsoever
Apart from the significant safety benefits of eliminating often unnecessary entry to reactors, Technivac’s self-feeding vacuum systems are less labour intensive and this can be a major advantage in terms of bed unloading speed.
For many reasons in the early 1980’s the frequency of manned entry to reactors for catalyst extraction purposes was increasing. It was this trend that became one of the major contributory factors leading to Technivac’s decision and determination to R&D safer alternatives to manned entry.
Technivac ‘Portflo’ device allows the bottom manway to be removed without any form of spillage and is a highly successful alternative to manned entry particularly where pyrophoric materials are concerned, completely eliminating dust emissions.
As a result of current COSHH and future implementation of REACH legislation, catalyst data sheets now contain detailed information which was previously non-existent.
The data sheets for various catalysts are now indicating that many of materials we use contain suspected carcinogenic compounds which are a potential hazard during bed loading but after use in a process their toxicity level can be increased even further and they become even more of a hazard during unloading.
There is therefore only one goal in relation to addressing the problem and that can only be total containment.
Dust Emissions and Ground Spills
In recent years, this has become an all too common sight during catalyst bed unloads and because the person carrying out the drum filling operation has difficulty in seeing what is going on, ground spillage is also a common feature. Whilst the drum filling operator needs personal protection equipment what is often overlooked is the real hazard to innocent passers-by.
Completely Eliminating The Problem
Technivac Innovation solved the problem of dust emission and ground spillage during bed unloading as early as 1987.
Since 1987 Technivac’s original drum filler has gone through several design changes. It also eliminates the man handling of drums during palletisation and all versions provide total containment.
The same total containment principles can be applied to each equipment we use as the means of repackaging the product. Whether it be drums, bulk bags or Tote bins.